Max Strecker of Mahtomedi pitched a shutout during Thursday's game against Hill-Murray for the Class 3A, Section 4 championship. Photo by Dan Beise, SportsEngine
When the Mahtomedi seniors came forward to accept their section championship trophy, there was no dogpile or massive celebration. Just a happy-looking group of Zephyrs.
For Mahtomedi, winning the Class 3A, Section 4 title has become a habit. The Zephyrs made it three consecutive section titles and eighth since 2014 on Thursday, defeating Hill-Murray 4-0 and qualifying for next week’s state tournament.
The Zephyrs made it look easy in the early rounds of this year’s section tournament, winning their first two games of the tournament by a combined score of 27-1. That included a 10-0 win against the Pioneers in the second round of the tournament.
“Every day at practice we’re putting in the work,” Mahtomedi starting pitcher Max Strecker said. “We’re out there playing for each other.”
Jacob Johnson of the Zephyrs gets tagged out at second base. Photo by Dan Beise, SportsEngine.
A four-run third inning was all Mahtomedi needed as the Zephyrs shut out Hill-Murray 4-0 on Thursday as Mahtomedi won the Class 3A, Section 4 title at Northwestern University in St. Paul.
The Zephyr rally started when William Harns singled. He came around to score two batters later when Nicholas Rollinger reached on a Hill-Murray error. Ethan Felling gave top-seeded Mahtomedi (17-6) some insurance runs with a three-run blast to left field.
From there, the Zephyrs pitching did the rest. Max Strecker pitched a complete-game shutout, pitching all seven innings, striking out five and allowing four hits and a walk. He also had a hit in the game.
Hill-Murray (14-11) struggled to produce baserunners and, ultimately, runs as its season came to an end. Jack Drange had the only extra-base hit of the day for the Pioneers.
Mahtomedi celebrates Thursdays win over Hill-Murray. Photo by Dan Beise, SportsEngine.
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